If you happen to be fishing in the south Bellingham Bay area near Cypress Island today, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife would like your help cleaning up a large Atlantic salmon spill. A net pen which held approximately 305,000 Atlantic salmon, broke over the weekend, releasing thousands of farm fish into the waters surrounding the San Juan islands.
In a statement released this morning by Cooke Aquaculture Pacific, a division of Icicle Seafoods, Inc., Cooke speculated that “exceptionally high tides and currents coinciding with this week’s solar eclipse” caused the damage. Cooke estimates several thousand salmon escaped following “structural failure” of a net pen.
“It appears that many fish are still contained within the nets,” Cooke said in the statement. “It will not be possible to confirm exact numbers of fish losses until harvesting is completed and an inventory of fish in the pens has been conducted.”